Linear programming – the basic ideas
Linear programming – the basic ideas

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol on the course to track your learning.


Following completion of this free OpenLearn course, Linear programming – the basic ideas, you should find that your skills in finding a solution to a linear programming problem and interpreting the result in terms of the original problem are improving.

You should now be able to:

  • formulate a given simplified description of a suitable real-world problem as a linear programming model in general, standard and canonical forms
  • sketch a graphical representation of a two-dimensional linear programming model given in general, standard or canonical form
  • classify a two-dimensional linear programming model by the type of its solution
  • solve a two-dimensional linear programming problem graphically
  • use the simplex method to solve small linear programming models by hand, given a basic feasible point.

This free OpenLearn course is an extract from the Open University course M373 Optimization [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

If you feel you are ready to move on in your study of applied mathematics but don’t have time to study a full Open University course at this time, you might like to study the free OpenLearn courses Introduction to the calculus of variations and Kinematics of fluids.

If you are interested in pure mathematics, you might like to try the free OpenLearn courses Number theory, Group theory, Rings and polynomials and Metric spaces and continuity.

If you are interested in statistics, you might like to study the free OpenLearn courses Modelling events in time, Univariate continuous distribution theory and Point estimation.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371